Favorite Optimism-Boosting Organizations
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Pursuing optimism can be incredibly difficult if you’re battling anxiety and depression. Please know that you’re not alone and specialized support can help. We count on the ADAA for evidence-based care and resources. Its webinars, in particular, have a reassuring, practical quality, and a number of them explore resilience, of which optimism is a key ingredient.
Taking Charge of Your Health and Well-Being (University of Minnesota)
We love evidence-based approaches to holistic health, so it probably doesn’t surprise you that we love this project from the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. If you’re looking to be more optimistic, peep its page on gratitude, an expert-endorsed, optimism-boosting strategy.
Favorite Support Groups
Mental Health America
If you’re experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, for instance, and would like to boost your optimism, the standard advice might not work for you. Here you can find support groups filled with people who get where you’re coming from and can help you navigate challenging situations.
Favorite Way To Find Optimism-Supporting Therapists
American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA is a trustworthy source for how psychologists think about important topics. Its resources on optimism are top notch. If you’re interested in seeing a psychologist, the APA has a search tool to help you find one near you.
Practicing optimism is one of those skills that really benefits from having a trusted guide along for the ride. Licensed therapists are trained in many of the building blocks of optimism, like reframing thoughts, and can help you figure out your personal pitfalls too.
Favorite Optimism Books
‘Learned Optimism: How To Change Your Mind and Your Life,’ by Martin Seligman
Dr. Seligman is arguably the biggest name in the psychology of optimism. He’s a researcher, but this book won’t make your eyes glaze over. Consider this a friendly guide to optimism from one of the greats.
‘Positivity: Groundbreaking Research to Release Your Inner Optimist and Thrive,’ by Barbara Fredrickson
Written by a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, who is one of the leading voices on optimism, this book features insights from years of research on optimism and how you can achieve it in real life.
‘Toxic Positivity: Getting Real In A World Obsessed With Being Happy,’ by Whitney Goodman
The quintessential guide to optimism taken too far, this no-nonsense read is written by a licensed marriage and family therapist who’s also big on social media. You can preview her work on Instagram at @sitwithwhit. If you like the vibe, you’ll love her book.
Favorite Optimism Assessment
VIA (Values in Action Inventory) Character Strengths
It can be tricky to tell how optimistic you are. If you want to understand yourself better, we love the free survey from VIA. After you take it, you’ll be able to see where you stand on 24 character strengths (including hope — a stand-in for optimism) and can choose to purchase a full report with ideas for how to flex those strengths.
Favorite Apps for Boosting Optimism
Ten Percent Happier
Curious about boosting optimism with mindfulness? This app provides you with a practical place to start, putting mindfulness-related courses, podcasts, and guided meditation in your pocket.
Favorite Optimism Podcast
The Science of Happiness
Psst! If you want a treasure trove of tips on practical positivity, you’ll adore this podcast from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California in Berkeley. This episode digs into the science of optimism, including a deep dive into the Best Possible Self Practice.